The ADIZ Fight -- When It's Personal

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AOPA President Phil Boyer spoke before the FAA, TSA, Defense, Secret Service and Customs brass last week but it was his story about the experience of one pilot perhaps less accustomed to the spotlight that lent a unique power to the presentation. At the public meeting on the future of the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone, Boyer said his wife Lois is among the pilots falsely accused of busting the ADIZ and it's an experience he says the couple will never forget ... and never wants to relive. "She went through hell," Boyer told the panel, in front of 200 others waiting to relate their experiences. Because Boyer's Cessna 172 has just about every electronic gizmo available on it, including ADS-B, the Boyers were ultimately able to prove they were nowhere near the ADIZ when they took the Sunday afternoon flight in the summer of 2003. But not before Lois, the pilot in command, was threatened with enforcement action. Boyer said she's only flown about 10 hours since and he's afraid that such attacks have had a similar impact on others. According to AOPA's account of the meeting, numerous pilots told the panel the ADIZ has taken the fun out of flying and replaced it with stress and frustration. One pilot said he believes the extra workload the ADIZ has imposed on air traffic controllers is showing and it's getting increasingly difficult to get the required clearances. Another said he bought an airplane from a pilot who sold it because he was fed up with dealing with the restrictions. "I thought I got a great deal. Now I'm no longer sure," he told the meeting.